Christmas Comes to Morning Star
by Charlotte Hubbard
GENRE: Amish/Inspirational romance
Founded by five unmarried and enterprising Amish maidels, the new Morning Star Marketplace in small-town Missouri is preparing for a joyous Christmas season. But will the holiday also bring
unexpected tidings of love?
Twin sisters Molly and Marietta Helfing are eagerly anticipating Christmas, with Marietta fully recovered from cancer and their noodle making business thriving. But Molly clearly misses having former tenant Pete Shetler and his rambunctious dog, Riley, around. Marietta can’t ignore Molly’s feelings for Pete—or the anxiety it stirs within her. Convinced her illness has made her unmarriageable, Marietta wonders what kind of life she’ll have if her sister marries—despite Molly’s promise never to leave her behind. . .
Then a fire destroys the home of Amish neighbors and Molly and Marietta graciously make room for widower Glenn Detweiler, his dat, and his two young boys. When Pete returns to help the family rebuild, Molly relishes her reunion with the handsome carpenter, while Marietta delights in mothering Glenn’s boys—and is surprised by her poignant bond with their quiet, brooding father. Soon everyone is wondering if this season will bring the blessing of a merry double wedding to Morning Star . . .
When she glanced at her sister, who was placing a strip of noodle dough into the roller, Marietta noticed a rare frown on Molly’s face. “Penny for your thoughts, sister.”
Molly shrugged. “Sure is quiet without Riley and Pete around.”
Marietta’s eyes widened at her sister’s wistful remark. For several months, Pete Shetler and his golden retriever, Riley, had rented one of their two dawdi hauses. Pete had done some much-needed maintenance around their farm—while his active young dog had mostly dug up Mamm’s flower beds, chewed the belts on their noodle making equipment, and found other trouble to get into.
Pete had moved into his uncle’s house, however. Although Marietta appreciated the return to a quieter routine without their renter, she sensed Molly had secretly adored the muscular blond carpenter and his rambunctious dog.
“Maybe you should pay Pete a visit,” she suggested. “I bet he’d be tickled if you took over a pan of noodle pudding—”
“Why would I do that?” Molly blurted. “It’s not as though anything would come of a relationship—even if Pete took the hint and asked me out.”
“Why not?” Marietta paused, hoping to express her concerns carefully. “Just because I’ll never marry doesn’t mean you should forfeit a potential romance. Sure, Pete’s clueless most of the time but he seems trainable. And he’s awfully cute.”
“Let’s not forget that Pete refuses to join the Amish church, so a romance would be pointless—even if he knew the meaning of the word,” Molly shot back. “Truth be told, I like Riley better than Pete, anyway. I intend to remain here on the farm with you, sister, like we’ve always agreed upon. We’re turning thirty-five next month, so why would I want to change my life—and my attitude—to accommodate a husband?”
A Word With the Author
Did you always want to be an author?
No! When I was young, I wanted to compose music and become a concert pianist. Good thing my priorities changed, because my hands are too small/fingers way too short to handle major compositions written by mostly male composers who had a lot more reach (and talent) than I do. My dad was also a factor, because he informed me early on that he wouldn’t be supporting any starving artists. I came out of college with a teaching/school library degree, and I followed that career path for 10 years.
Tell us about the publication of your first book.
My very first book, COLORADO CAPTIVE, came out in January of 1991 and was one of those racy Western “bodice-rippers” with a couple in a “clinch” on the cover that were so popular at that time. This was by no means the first book I wrote—but it was the first one a publisher was willing to pay me for.
Besides yourself, who is your favorite author in the genre you write in?
Confession: I don’t have a favorite Amish romance author because—except when I was first researching this genre to write these books—I don’t read them. I don’t want to inadvertently copy ideas from other authors’ books. I also want my plots and characters to be totally fresh and different from what any other authors are writing (and these days, a gazillion authors are writing some form of Amish fiction.)
What's the best part of being an author? The worst?
I’ve come to love the freedom and schedule flexibility of writing in a home office, and now writing two full books a year instead of three. I cut down when my husband retired—one of the smartest decisions I’ve made—because we love to travel. Having my two deadlines each year, and knowing those ahead of time, means we can schedule our trips at times when I won’t have to work.
The worst part of being an author is that you can’t predict when your checks will arrive, and you certainly can’t predict how much your royalty checks will be (unless you self-publish, which I don’t). Frankly, I can afford to be a writer because I have a husband who gets regular paychecks and who pays our other major household expenses. Contrary to what you might believe, many, many writers can’t live on their earnings!
What are you working on now?
I’ve just completed a really fun Christmas novella called “Star of Wonder” for a Christmas anthology (AN AMISH CHRISTMAS STAR) that comes out in the fall of 2022. Next up is the 7th book in my Promise Lodge series, entitled HIDDEN AWAY AT PROMISE LODGE—first I’ll write up the complete synopsis my publisher requires, and then I’ll start in on the book. That book’s due February 1, 2022 and after that it’s time for a new contract. Maybe a whole new series…which I’m already conjuring on the back burner of my imagination.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 50 books to traditional or online publishers. A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in Omaha, NE with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.
Facebook -- www.Facebook.com/Charlotte.Hubbard1
Zebra Books •• ISBN-13: 9781420151831 •• ISBN-10: 1420151835
Charlotte Hubbard be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. In addition to the GC, the author would like to select one female reader's name to use in her upcoming book, HIDDEN AWAY AT PROMISE LODGE.
a Rafflecopter giveaway